Just spent 6 nights here. While it is a lovely hillside resort with some clear plus points, the resort is not without its drawbacks and whether this is the resort for you or not really depends on what you are looking for and plan to do. The resort in fact might be better suited under TA's "Specialty Lodging" category instead of under the general "Hotels" listing.
Begnas Lake is the 2nd largest lake in Pokhara. Most tourists stay at the lodges and resorts around Phewa Lake, the largest lake, where there is a tourist town with plenty of shops, restaurants etc. The Begnas Lake Resort is in a remote setting, so if you want to really "get away from it all" in comfortable, quiet and very scenic surrounds, then you will enjoy staying at the resort.
To get to the resort you have to be rowed across the lake in a 25 minute ride that is very pleasant and peaceful, although this obviously makes getting in and out of the resort cumbersome. You can also get to the resort by 4WD over a dirt road through the hillside which would take about the same amount of time as the boat ride, however you then have to descend down a long steep flight of stairs (264 I think).
There are plenty of hillside trails around the resort though, so if hiking is your main aim and you are content to retreat to the resort at the end of every day then this would be perfect.
Set on a hillside so be prepared to do a bit of stair climbing. Well maintained pretty gardens with lots of butterflies. Apart from the pool there is also access to the lake, and the more adventurous guests can swim in the lake.
You can also enjoy beautiful views of the Annapurna Mountains in the morning. Catch the mountain peaks aglow on a clear day when they catch the early morning sun's rays.
Simple but clean and comfortable. The resort is about 16 years old so do expect some pretty worn fittings. Also, this is Nepal, and in a small town area, so even though the resort is of very high quality for Nepal (a very under-developed country), don't expect international standards. There is a ceiling fan in the room however it did not work well. Not sure about air conditioning, I did see a portable contraption under the study desk but did not check to see if it was the AC and whether it was working. No TV in the rooms, however I'm not sure anyone would want one.
The resort's restaurant has several menus including a healthy Ayurvedic (traditional Indian medicine) vegetarian menu. I was part of a group on a yoga trip and we did have a veggie buffet every meal however I don't think it was specifically Ayurvedic. There was quite a lot of variety at the buffet, pity that some of the dishes tended to be a tad oily and/or salty.
The restaurant does serve regular fare (i.e. non-veg), and all food is organic and locally-sourced if not home grown. The fresh guava juice from the many guava trees in their garden is excellent! Also look forward to local organic honey and coffee (the coffee farm which also produces honey from the coffee flowers is within an hour's walk from the resort). The resort also bakes their own bread and chapatis.
Frequent blackouts, however again this is common throughout Nepal. The resort does have its own diesel generator but I guess this seems to not work well either.
In the main building's lobby, bar and restaurant areas, however it is exceedingly slow and unstable, compounded by the electricity being down a lot. For the time I was there I basically had to disconnect from email, Twitter, FB, WhatsApp and what have you except for a few occasions - which ended up being not a bad thing.
2 hour sessions twice a day, 6-8 am, and 4-6 pm. The yoga is of the meditative kind with a lot of emphasis on pranayama (breathing exercises), simple stretching and a few easy asanas (postures), so don't expect any vigorous Ashtanga workouts or anything.
Massages as well as Ayurvedic treatments are available, and there is a doctor from Kerala (seat of Ayurveda) on duty. I did have a massage and the masseuse was pretty good, although the massage itself was very oily and messy - as is typical of Ayurvedic massages. The massage room was no-frills, but clean.
The resort is well-run and the General Manager of the resort Mr Arjun is a warm and wonderful person. He has been with the resort from day one and clearly cares very much about the resort and about taking care of the guests.
WALKS AND GUIDES
Our group did three walks, guided by one of the hotel staff Arbin who proved adept at waiting tables as well as at guiding. The walk to Begnas Cote (climb to slightly over 1,000m high) was very enjoyable, and the view of the mountain range at the top was gorgeous. Start out early if you're going when the weather is hot though as we took over 6 hours there and back. The sun and heat become unbearable close to noon so starting out at 6am when it is light already is perfect.
The resort supports the village primary and secondary schools. A visit to the schools was arranged for our group, and it was a very heartwarming experience to meet and make a contribution to the excited kids who clearly come from very economically challenged backgrounds.The schools are bare bones, although they do focus on having as good a library as they can. The teachers we met were all simply wonderful. When you are there you might be able to ask the resort to arrange a visit to the schools should you want to help out. The walk there is about 45 mins away and up the hills. If not, then a contribution to the school would work too.
Prices at the resort are quoted in Euros, however only USD and Nepali Rupees are accepted. USD in fact is quoted and accepted very widely in Nepal, even by small vendors, and usually at the rate of USD $1 = 1000 Rs. Change minimal currency into Nepali Rupees though as the currency is not popular outside of Nepal, and in fact money changers there will not change your Rupees back to other currencies!
- Also Known As:
- Begnas Lake Hotel Pokhara
- Begnas Lake Hotel
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